Wednesday, March 29, 2017
See What I Have Done
"Lizzie Borden took an ax
And gave her mother forty whacks
When she saw what she had done,
She gave her father forty-one."
Or did she?
In this story, Sarah Schmidt recasts one of the most fascinating murder cases of all time and spins the story out of a entirely volatile household. The brutal murder of Andrew and Abby Borden in their home left little evidence and many questions. Some people wondered why anyone would want to harm the Bordens, but those close to the family had a different perspective of a father with an explosive temper, a spiteful stepmother and two spinster sisters, Emma and Lizzie. While the police search for clues, Emma confronts Lizzie, whose memories of that morning are scattered fragments. What is true and what is in Lizzie's mind only?
This story of shifting perspectives is dizzying as you go from reliable to unreliable narrators (or are they all unreliable?) and try to determine just what happened to the Bordens and why. At times, I found myself slightly nauseated by some of the perspectives because the author does such a good job of putting the reader inside a character's mind; if that character is unbalanced, so is the perspective. Dazzling and off-putting, all at the same time.